Illegal payments impeachable offence if directed by Trump, says leading Democrat

Arturo Kim
December 11, 2018

As for questions about whether a sitting president can be indicted, Napolitano said his view is that Trump can be indicted but not prosecuted until he's out of office.

Schiff did not rule out that Trump may become "the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time".

Even for the commentators whose job it is to follow these things, tracking the progress of special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing and wide-ranging investigation into potential election crimes committed by the Trump campaign has been no easy task.

Prosecutors said Trump's lawyer clearly sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 election from the sidelines through illicit payments. The document, which never mentions the President by name (but appears to refer to Trump as "Individual-1") says that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who wanted two alleged former flings, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, paid to keep quiet about their affairs with Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

In the legal filings, the Justice Department stopped short of accusing Mr Trump of directly committing a crime.

"There is a plausible case against the president", said Rick Hasen, a professor who specializes in election and campaign finance law at the University of California at Irvine. In the sentencing memo, the SDNY's prosecutors lean heavily on the fact that Cohen structured these payments to foil "one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency".

President Donald Trump is in legal and political jeopardy, and he doesn't seem to know it.

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During his conversation with host Margaret Brennan, Schiff said he believes President Donald Trump faces the "very real prospect" of seeing jail time after he leaves office. "President Trump could argue that because there was no spending limit on his contributions, he did not think about the campaign-finance implications, much less willfully violate them".

"On approximately June 16, 2015, Individual-1, for whom Cohen worked at the time, began an ultimately successful campaign for President of the United States", they noted.

In a Washington Post-ABC News poll released in late August, a slight majority of voters - 49 percent compared to 46 percent - said that they want the US Congress to start impeachment proceedings on Trump's removal from office.

(CNN) President Donald Trump is clearly anxious.

Regardless, House Democrats say additional investigations and even impeachment isn't out of the question. He has denied wrongdoing.

Under federal election law, campaigns must file special notices to the FEC of last-minute contributions of US$1000 or more that are received in the final weeks before Election Day. "We will try to get to the bottom of this, in order to serve the American people and to stop this massive conspiracy - this massive fraud on the American people". "I think it will resurface in the Congress. If you read that sentencing memo, I can't come to any other conclusion". Again, if true, that makes Trump as guilty as Cohen. When these payments were first reported earlier this year, Trump denied that he had known of them at the time.

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